Sunday, September 25, 2022

The Galaxy of Boojabaunga: A Gaming Ecosystem Like No Other

 The Galaxy at Boojabaunga has arrived! Gaming online has changed so much over the past two decades. With the advent of cryptocurrency and blockchains, gamers can now do what's known as, "play to earn," that is, earn cryptocurrency in the form of in-game tokens while playing.  One of the most popular games to do this is Axie Infinity, an Non-Fungible Token (NFT) based video game that allows players to earn an Ethereum token called, Small Love Potion or SLP, and use it to build out Pokémon-like characters known as Axies or trade it for other crypto tokens on an exchange.

I've seen Axie Infinity being played and I'm not impressed.  Sure, some people who love collecting Pokémon
 or NFTs will love the ability to upgrade their characters.  And yes, playing hour after hour will earn you potential SLP if you defeat opponents.  But the battles aren't exciting!

Now consider The Galaxy at Boojabaunga.  Despite being in Beta, you can play several games right now! It is a metaverse as well. As a player, you'll be able to develop characters by playing games, solve quests, collect resources you can store, and level up.  You might be wondering...How is this any different then Axie Infinity? The company is disrupting the gaming industry by using a hybrid model:

1) Store assets either on-chain or off-chain

2) Play using EITHER fiat currency or BAT (Boojabaunga Arcade Token). 

The Galaxy's main utility token is the DABA, an Ethereum based (ERC20) token. To enter The Galaxy and begin playing you'll need a MetaMask wallet installed.  It's easy to do so!  The site even offers a tutorial video on how to do this.

What I love about The Galaxy is how expansive it is and will become over time.  Playing in different worlds and planets, owning and customizing land, space vehicles, other elements within the ecosystem is exciting.  Playing a bunch of fun games is too! To stay up to date on any new development, Follow @Boojabaunga on Twitter or Boojabaungagalaxy on Instagram. 

Sunday, August 28, 2022

Tribel Social: A Promising Alternative To Facebook

I have a Black-American friend on Facebook who loves to make his followers laugh every Friday. He takes pride in curating some of the funniest non-political, street (urban) based memes he can find, and blasting them out all day on "Meme Friday." It's a tradition I look forward to. Just one problem, it usually results in his being put in Facebook jail. Some of the memes he posts are taken way too seriously by sensitive types who report him to Zuckerberg's police.

You might think it's imperative social media sites have rules, and that offensive posts don't belong in a shared ecosystem. That it's important for things like misinformation to be censored. We've seen Facebook now involved in two campaigns to either allow the promotion of misinformation (Russian election interference) or suppress information (Hunter Biden's laptop). I think no matter where you fall in the political spectrum, we can agree Facebook needs to do a whole lot better. 

What if there was a space where you could post pretty much anything you wanted, at your own risk, of course, but not be in danger of starting the next QAnon conspiracy theory or a trending piece of fake news? It's possible at Tribel Social Network, one of the fastest growing social media companies out there today. Unlike Facebook, Tribel won't stop you from spewing bigotry, hate, or fake news. Go right ahead. However, Tribel has mechanisms in place to keep it from spreading. For a nasty post, you might get nothing back but crickets chirping. For a friendly, informative, helpful, etc., post you might end up being ranked as a major contributor in one of the many Tribel social/culture categories users have to help them personalize their feed. In a way, Tribel is like Reddit.

Upon joining Tribel, you will be informed by the initial messages you get, to only hit "like" if you truly love what someone posted. "Likes" are like currency you give away. The algorithm places the most liked posts into "Trending" mode. This is the default way to experience the network and all of its popular contributors. Then there's the "Breaking" mode. If you like scrolling through the most recent posts in the categories you set as your filters, then this is the mode for you. Like Facebook, you get feed options. 

Say you don't want to see posts from anyone you don't trust or know for that matter. Then choose the "Following Feed" or the "Friends Feed." 

What if you're a content creator? Does Tribel Social have all the free features you get at Facebook? Of course! I actually posted text and a link to my latest book on Tribel without a hitch. It was just like I would at Twitter or Facebook. I've yet to post a video but doing so is the same as adding a photo. Same button! Right now you're not able to do a live video on Tribel. Maybe this is a functionality to be added in the future? As of now, you can't buy ads.

In talking with Tribel's CEO, Omar Rivero, the company isn't interested at the moment in monetizing the platform. Mr. Rivero stated he is prioritizing the creation of a fantastic product. User experience matters most to him. Despite drawing users initially and heavily from his Democratic (liberal) Twitter base, Mr. Rivero wants Tribel Social to be a space for everyone (Book lovers, Entrepreneurs, Sports fans, Fashion enthusiasts, etc., NO MATTER their political affiliation). 

Facebook is a busy place. It feels like you're on TikTok, Instagram, OfferUp, and YouTube all at once! Many will appreciate the elegance and simplicity of Tribel Social. I certainly do! 

For more information: Tribel's Page on FB

Tribel is available for download on the App Store.

THIS IS NOT A SPONSORED POST (in case you're wondering)

Sunday, May 1, 2022

When Is The Perfect Time To Buy Crypto?


If anything has become more clear today than ever before it is that cryptocurrencies are very much in lock step with the stock market. April was an epic meltdown month for stocks. It's so bad, I don't even want to look at my portfolio. I've actually refrained from scrolling down my Wells Fargo platform page to avoid seeing my Brokerage account total. Same goes for my Roth IRA. I just stay atop the page where my checking account is. LOL!

But look, if you've never invested in stocks or crypto, this is the time to do it! When it's down! Personally, I think cryptos are oversold. Almost all of them are well below their 2021 highs. BTC is below $40K! Fidelity is going to allow 401k folks to invest in BTC. If employers are game, and employees get access to buying BTC, this will be a game changer. Right now there are people fighting change, stating how hurtful it can be for employees that invest in BTC and see their holdings tank with BTC's crazy price action. They claim employees will sue employers for not protecting them when they lose money.

But BTC's price has a floor and it'll never go to zero. The sheer nature of it being a limited asset, much like gold, will keep BTC from being valuable ongoing. If you got some money to spare, you can buy fractional shares of BTC. I use Coinbase to buy my crypto. But there are other platforms like, for example. The crypto I'm buying, using Dollar Cost Averaging, buying once a month when I get paid, are:

1. Ethereum (ETH)

2. Cardano (ADA)--An Ethereum competitor

3. Algorand (ALGO)--Another Ethereum competitor

4. Axie Infinity (AXS)--A gaming platform that allows players to earn tokens and make $.

5. Cosmos (ATOM)--The "Internet of Blockchains."

I also stake them. This allows me to earn interest on my holdings. I intend on holding for a long time so I'll use the power of compound interest to increase my returns! 

Anyways, what I'm doing right now is accumulating crypto, and dollar cost averaging into both crypto and stocks. You can't time the markets so this is your best bet too. Good luck out there.

Live in San Diego County? Need to sell or buy a home? Contact my wife, the best realtor in the county! Jessica Grimmett-Gomez

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Blacks, Mexicans, Blaxicans, AfroMexicans AND Racism

What's up everyone! I'm posting to let everyone know that I just published my latest book.  It's about an often taboo topic among minorities: racism between Blacks and Mexicans, how it affects everyone involved, including AfroMexicans and Blaxicans.

My book is a young adult fiction novel, titled, Like Adding Pepper to Beans. The title comes from a scene in the book, where the older brother of one of the protagonists (Benjamin) is explaining why he doesn't like morenos (Blacks). He says to his sister, Brenda, that the two peoples (Mexicans and Blacks) don't go well together, like adding pepper to beans (pinto), it leaves a bad taste in your mouth. Brenda's comeback is clever. She says, that the taste adds new flavor to life.  Brenda likes a Black boy at school, the main character: Kalvin King. Kalvin transfers to the fictitious, Lincoln High School, located in South Central Los Angeles. Kalvin feels somewhat shocked to be on the receiving end of "mean-mugs" or intimidating stare downs, sent to him like flying eye daggers by the Mexican homies at the school.

Kalvin befriends a Blaxican boy who helps him understand the tensions. They learn about the conflicts and how they date back to the day of the Spanish conquistadores after they brought slaves to Mexico, creating a racial caste system.  Anyways, it's a funny, shocking, and entertaining story. Please consider buying and reviewing it.  The cover is awesome! Check it out:

 Want to read more? Check out the book description at Amazon or Look Inside feature.  Link to the Book.  Thanks for your support!!

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

3 Things People Get Wrong About Business Credit

It's terrifying to see how many people have no idea how credit works, even business owners. According to a recent survey, it has been estimated that about 72% of small business owners do not know what their business credit score is. They then wonder why they can't get approved for a loan. The truth is that business credit and personal credit have very significant differences, and you must know what these are if you want to get a chance at building it. Let's take a look at some of the things people don't understand about business credit.

Credit Card, Master Card, Visa Card, Credit, Paying

Personal and Business Credit Are Different, but Not Completely Separate

Yes, it is true that your personal and business credit are different and are measured based on different criteria. However, that doesn’t mean that your personal credit is completely irrelevant to you as a business owner. For instance, if you're a sole proprietor, chances are lenders will look at your personal credit to see how well you handle your personal finances. Many lenders will look at your personal credit no matter what, so you will have to think about improving your personal credit before improving business credit.

Lenders Only Care About Established Businesses

That is not true. While it's true that you will need to be able to show some signs of activity, you don't need to be in business for years to get business financing. You don't need to have a perfect credit score either. Many lenders understand the needs of the current market and will look beyond credit history to see if you're eligible.

Some, for instance, will pay more attention to signs of growth and health. They might look at your cash flow, for instance, and see in which direction your business is going. Also, the reason for which you decide to take out a loan will make a difference. Anything that contributes to the growth of the business will be seen more favorably. So, don’t expect a lender to lend you money for fancy office renovation if you’re not established yet. 

Business Loans Are the Only Way

That is another thing many business owners aren't aware of, but there are options outside of business loans, and some of them work even if you have bad or no credit. One of these is invoice factoring. 

If you have lots of accounts receivables, you could borrow against them. A lender will give you a portion of the money owed and will collect the invoice for the full amount. This could be a great option if you don't have great credit as it's the client's credit that will count the most. 

Another option would be to offer collateral. If you have any equipment you think holds value, then it could be used as collateral, even things like inventory or vehicles. So, make sure that you speak with a lender that offers these types of loans and see which type of assets they would accept.

These are just some of the things people don’t quite understand about business credit. By knowing these, you’ll already be ahead of a lot of your competitors and may be able to take advantage of opportunities they are oblivious to.

Monday, October 12, 2020

Mechanical Value Investing: Your Best Path to Investing Success

 What's up everybody!  Today I have a stocks and stock market related post for you.  I love me some stocks talk, and especially when the convo revolves around value investing and beating the market!  My guest, Evan Bleker, is a Benjamin Graham (father of value investing) disciple.  He's going to show you the advantages that a small, independent investor has when it comes to investing and why value investing is a perfect fit for you!  Let me tell you, chasing growth (Tesla-TSLA, Netflix-NFLX, Facebook-FB, etc.) continuously might work for now, but it will not work forever!  So pay attention amigos.  Evan is about to break things down for you.

Mechanical Value Investing: Your Best Path to Success

For decades, Wall Street has pushed the idea that investing is best left to the professionals, but is it really impossible for the layman to get ahead?  As we will see, the small, independent investor may have a significant advantage.

Is The Stock Market Rigged?

We all know that the stock market is a hyper competitive space, filled with the smartest minds and funds equipped with billions of dollars worth of the most advanced trading technology.

This is exactly what drives the, "Efficient Market Hypothesis."  If the best and brightest are constantly buying and selling stocks, then the current price of a stock must reflect everything already known!  Moreover, if the current price of a stock is the perfect reflection of all known information, then logically there is no way to make excess profits in the markets, especially if you are a regular, independent investor.

Every year we see reports drawing attention to the chronic underperformance of individual investors vs. their benchmarks.  However, there are a select group of independent investors who are not only matching the index, but in many cases are beating them!

First Advantage: Small and Nimble

Smaller doesn't mean worse.  In fact, in the investing world, companies with small market capitalizations (the size of the company) historically outperform their larger cousins.  This well documented phenomena is called, the small cap advantage.

Numerous theories have explained why these small companies have outperformed.  Some believe it is a premium on the risk investors take, betting on smaller companies that may be more likely to fail.  This sounds credible, but when you look at companies such as Enron or Bear Stearns, you begin to wonder how true that is.

Another theory is that it's simply more logical for these small companies to grow at a faster rate.  A well established company like Apple (AAPL) will find it nearly impossible to double its sales from its current gargantuan size.  A small company, on the other hand, might only be operating in a single state or place, and will find it much easier to expand and grow.

So clearly, investing in small cap companies can lead to outperformance.  Our advantage as small, independent investors is that those genius, well-funded institutions for the most part can't invest in these companies!  Most of them have a set of guidelines that their investors agree to call a mandate, and in most cases, small cap stocks aren't on them.  These institutions do deep dives into individual companies, oftentimes paying someone to just track every minute change in the business.  The universe of small cap stocks is enormous, with far more stocks than any one fund could possibly track with the level of diligence that is required.

For these institutions, it just isn't worth the time to track the thousands of businesses out there.  What's more, even if institutions want to invest in a small cap company, they wouldn't be able to!  Most of these small businesses have such little trading volume and shares outstanding that it would take a large fund months (or years) to exit a position.  They would most likely drive the price against them as they do it.  For these reasons, most institutional investors avoid the small cap market entirely.

What does this mean for us?  Less competition! With less competition you get more mispricing and deals that you'd never see with large Fortune 500 names that everyone in the world is following.

Second Advantage: Patience

The second major advantage we have is that we are independent!  We may hear about the amount of money some funds manage (Assets Under Management-AUM) and get a bit jealous.  In reality, answering to investors 24/7 comes with a myriad of issues, specifically around patience.

Institutions are under constant pressure to perform every single quarter.  For many that don't yet have an established reputation, a few bad quarters in a row can spell their doom.  What often ends up happening is that most funds make very speculative bets hoping for a moonshot that will catapult their performance results.  Or, they hop on the bandwagon of a trendy growth stock, hoping the momentum keeps driving the price upward.

At the other extreme, we also see many funds crowd into the same boring, stable companies simply because the risk is minimal.  Similarly, investing in these stable brands is easy to explain to investors.

This is why oftentimes institutional investors can't take part in the second well known premium in the market: the value premium.  Businesses are considered to be value plays when they have stocks that are worth more than they are currently trading for.  A good value investor finds a bargain, researches it, buys it and waits for the price to rise to what is should be.  You get bonus points, so to speak, if that fair value is actually growing as well.

An institution however, is going to have a hard time explaining to its clients why it's buying a business at the low.  It will be even harder to explain why it's holding a business that appears to be failing.  The small, independent investor need not worry about this.  Value stocks tend to be long-term investments, and certainly longer than the single quarter metric by which institutions are measured.  This allows us, the small investors, to invest for the long haul and enjoy the well documented outperformance that has historically been seen in value stocks.

A Better Approach: Ben Graham's Basket

Benjamin Graham, the father of value investing, and Warren Buffett's mentor, figured all this out a long time ago.  He devised a simple, no-fuss strategy to maximize the advantages that were available to the small, independent investor.

He'd look for extremely undervalued businesses he called, "net nets."  These businesses would be trading below their Net Current Asset Value (NCAV), meaning, they were trading at such steep discounts that if the business were to close down today, they could theoretically sell all of their assets, cover their debts, and still have cash left over to payback shareholders!

This huge discount provided investors with tons of downside protection.  Unfortunately, most of these companies would have to have been facing real issues to trade at such low valuations.  That is why Graham advised buying around 30 of them, to diversify, and reduce the volatility and risk any individual net net had, leaving the investor to enjoy the massive upside benefits.

Best of all, this approach doesn't require investment or brilliance.  It's what investors refer to as mechanical strategy: you buy a pool of stocks that meet a strict set of criteria, hold for a period of time, and then replace them.  The performance of the lot determines your portfolio's performance - you're not relying on any one company.  Rather, the sheer cheapness of the companies propel your stocks on average higher over a number of years.

There are a number of value factors you can use to achieve success.  Some value investors like to look at a stock's Price to Earnings (i.e., PE) ratio.  They like to pay a low price relative to what a business could earn.  Others look at book value, the accounting value of a company's net assets (assets less all liabilities).  There are a number of good approaches for the small investor.  But, each approach is characterized by its own return profile.

Coming from Net Net Hunter, is should be no surprise that I'm biased towards net nets.  To this day, this simple strategy has been one of the best performing for decades, historically providing a compound annual return around 20-30% per year, handily beating both the benchmark and institutional investing.  The strategy has also been good for nearly 100 years, and has ample academic evidence for its success.

That is why we believe that the small, independent investor isn't at a disadvantage at all to Wall Street.  Quite the opposite, being able to remain independently minded, adopt a sound value strategy, and buy tiny, illiquid firms is a major advantage when billions of dollars on Wall Street are fighting over a few hundred mega companies.  We believe that independent investors owe it to themselves to realize this, and start beating the indexes in order to attain financial freedom.

Evan Bleker is a small investor, author, and founder of Net Net Hunter, a community focused on Ben Graham's net net stock strategy.  He recently published Benjamin Graham's Net-Nets through the UK Publisher Harriman-House.  When not combing the stock list for dirt cheap companies, Evan enjoys getting beaten up at Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu class, riding motorcycles, and traveling around the ring of fire.   

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Wells Fargo Finally Comes Through!

And it's over ladies and's finally over!  Yes, we are officially done working with Wells Fargo Home Mortgage.  At one point, it looked like WF had ghosted my refinance application, but a few days after this last blog post, I got an email from Leticia, the mortgage processor.  She explained in her email to my wife, Jessica, and me that they were working with their "underwriting team" to move our file over to the Closing department.  I gotta say it was a little strange getting updated by Leticia.  She hadn't done it before!

Then Leticia proceeded to email an additional three more times with updates.  She was polite, telling us to "have a great weekend," and she even threw in a happy face emoji on one of her emails.  I didn't know what the heck was going on!  If you've read my last two blog post on my refinancing with WF experience, you'd know that this was not what I'd come to expect in the form of customer service.  I was a bit taken aback, but happily surprised that my loan application had not been ghosted!

Leticia redeemed herself in my book.  I would've appreciated a consistent concern for my experience as a WF Home Mortgage customer from a mortgage processor, but as they say..."better late than never."  One person who was my advocate throughout this 6.75 month ordeal...yes, it took that long...was my mortgage consultant, Will Harrelson.  If I were to rate his customer service, I'd give Will:

10/10 for availability

9/10 for communication

10/10 for advocacy

10/10 for professionalism/friendliness

If it weren't for Will, my application would've probably been shelved.  So big ups for Will!

Wells Fargo Home Mortgage underwriting team finally sent my application to the Closing Department at the end of the first week of this month.  It took another week before the closing docs were available.  I was told that the earliest I'd be able to have a notary come to my home would be 9/18.  I thought I'd get an email from Wells Fargo facilitating this last part of the closing process.  But the only thing I got was a phone call from the notary requesting a time to meet later in the evening.  It was unexpected.  Usually, a bank will hire a company to book a notary.  This hired company will send you an email and let you book a time with one of the notaries.  But this is Wells Fargo!  They told the notary to "just call" me.

Luckily my wife and I weren't doing anything that Friday night, so we went ahead and made a late appointment with the notary.  We just wanted this ordeal over with.  One last critique of Wells Fargo was their closing docs.  Listen, I've closed on several mortgage least 8 times I've done this.  I've never been stumped on what to do or how to fill out a form.  Wells Fargo's forms stumped us all.  Plus they asked for personal information I'd never had to provide with anyone else.  For example, we were asked if we'd been married before.  Jessica and I had to write in the names of our former married partners.  And this wasn't an optional thing!  It's like they wanted to know all about us.

Well, Wells Fargo came through after all.  They gave me what they promised me, a new loan on an investment property I own at a rate of 4.75%.  I also got an incidental amount of cash at closing, $1895.  That wasn't bad.  But we went through too much turmoil for me to give WF Home Mortgage anything beyond a 3 out of 10.  They did offer me an opportunity to leave a review of my experience via a survey.  Of course I let them have it.  I still maintain the position that if you can, you should avoid doing any home mortgage business with WF.  Folks, stay away!  There are plenty of smaller banks out there willing to consider your mortgage application with sincerity and decency.  Until next time!